OHLENDORF: Yes, I have already said that the gas van ...
COL. POKROVSKY: And why did they prefer execution by shooting to killing in the gas vans?
OHLENDORF: Because, as I have already said, in the opinion of the leader of the Einsatzkommandos, the unloading of the corpses was an unnecessary mental strain.
COL. POKROVSKY: What do you mean by "an unnecessary mental strain"?
OHLENDORF: As far as I can remember the conditions at that time the picture presented by the corpses and probably because certain functions of the body had taken place leaving the corpses lying in filth.
COL. POKROVSKY: You mean to say that the sufferings endured prior to death were clearly visible on the victims? Did I understand you correctly?
OHLENDORF: I don't understand the question; do you mean during the killing in the van?
COL. POKROVSKY: Yes.
OHLENDORF: I can only repeat what the doctor told me, that the victims were not conscious of their death in the van.
COL. POKROVSKY: In that case your reply to my previous question, that the unloading of the bodies made a very terrible impression on the members of the execution squad, becomes entirely incomprehensible.
OHLENDORF: And, as I said, the terrible impression created by the position of corpses themselves, and by the state of the vans which had probably been dirtied and so on.
COL. POKROVSKY: I have no further questions to put to this witness at the present stage of the Trial.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecutor for the French Republic desire to put any questions to the witness?
M. FRANCOIS DE MENTHON (Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic): No.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the counsel for Kaltenbrunner desire to cross-examine now or at a later date?
DR. KAUFFMANN: Perhaps I could ask a few questions now and request that I be allowed to make my cross-examination later, after consultation with Kaltenbrunner.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. KAUFFMANN [Turning to the witness.]: How long have you known Kaltenbrunner?
OHLENDORF: May I be allowed to sit? May I sit down?
Last modified: January 2, 1999